Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I skipped work yesterday...

... to go to Disneyland! OK, not really.

Instead, I was at Hoag Hospital for most of the day. I didn't get home until ~9:30pm after finding out that I have a partial muscle tear in my left calf. The bad news is that it could take months to heal; there's not really any good news.

The pain was pretty intense yesterday morning so I emailed in sick again. At around 2pm, I finally reached my doctor and he told me to go in to his office. After taking another look at my leg, he decided that it wasn't an infection and sent me to the ER at Hoag for another look. It was weird driving to the ER by myself. I also didn't see the valet parking in front of the ER so I had to park in the parking structure; it took me 15 minutes to shuffle into the ER after I parked.

View outside the door of my hospital room. They didn't even give me a blanket or pillow.

After the triage nurse decided that my condition wasn't life threatening (!), they wheeled me to a hospital room and I was seen by a nurse and a physician assistant. Having done an ultrasound already, the decision was made to do an MRI to see if there's soft tissue damage. A different guy wheeled me to the MRI room and they scanned my ankle. The machine was huge and unexpectedly noisy; the technician gave me a set of earplugs to block the noise. There was also a cold draft in the room blowing right on the sliding table. I usually like air conditioning but it was freezing and my teeth were chattering for the entire 30 minute scan. When it was done, they wheeled me back to my hospital room. I was sharing it was a 94 year old lady. She was making a ham sandwich at home, slipped on a piece of ham on the ground, and got lots of cuts and bruises. You would think that's funny but it wasn't; she needed a bunch of stitches, especially for a huge cut over her eye, and it took them over an hour to stitch and bandage her back together.


If I can just get the door open, I can wheel myself outta here.

Did I say they MRI'ed my ankle? Well, after an hour of waiting, the PA came back and said I needed to go back for another MRI since they were supposed to scan my lower leg, not my ankle. Sigh... good thing it was only a MRI and not surgery. So back I go on a wheelchair to the MRI room. This time, they put me all the way into the machine and injected me with some kind of dye or tracer. It took another 30 minutes but she gave me a blanket and I ended up falling asleep on the table. By the time I was done, it was after 7pm. Back in my room, the old lady was gone so I sat and watched TV until almost 8:30pm before they got back to me with the results. I ended up leaving the hospital with more painkiller prescriptions and a huge boot that immobilizes my ankle.

New shoes boot! Hmm, my left leg is a bit swollen. How am I supposed to dress for work with this?!

All in all, it was an interesting day. Not as much fun as Disneyland but not too bad. It did seem terribly inefficient that it took ~6 hours for me to to get a MRI though. They also better not have charged me for both scans! I'm not sure how I tore the muscle since I don't really exercise. The only thing I can think of was ping pong night right before my trip to China since my leg started feeling sore the next day. Also not sure if the huge increase in pain after taking Levaquin is a coincidence or an adverse drug reaction but I wished my doctor had ordered an MRI the same time I went in for an ultrasound several weeks ago.

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